On one of my test computers and I have created three user accounts to easily share that PC with my family. Except for my user account, rest two accounts do not have a password. So, I can easily access other accounts, if required.
Recently I noticed that the “C” drive was running out of free space and so decided to free up some disk space by emptying Recycle Bin and then deleting other junk files on my desktop. To empty Recycle Bin present in other accounts, I decided to use a good old command that lets you quickly empty Recycle Bin from all user accounts in a jiffy. Of course, you can manually sign in to all accounts and delete files from Recycle Bin. But it takes a lot of time.
The command comes in handy if you are the administrator of a multi-user Windows 11/10/7 computer. In this guide, I will show you how to use the Command Prompt to quickly empty Recycle Bin from all user accounts:
IMPORTANT: Use this command with caution. Executing wrongly typed command may cause damage to your system and data.
Delete Recycle Bin data from all user accounts
Step 1: Launch elevated Prompt. To do this, type CMD in the Start menu/taskbar search box, right click on the Common Prompt entry and then click Run as administrator.
Or, type CMD in the search and simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys.
Step 2: In the elevated prompt, type the following command:
rd /s c:\$Recycle.Bin
(In the above command, “c” is your Windows drive)
Press the Enter key.
Press Y key to confirm and empty Recycle Bin. You are done! Type Exit and press the Enter key again to close the Prompt.
There might be some other third-party tools to do this job, but this is the easiest way to empty Recycle Bin and free up valuable disk space. We tested this command in Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well, and can confirm that it works!
A little bit “unconventional” improvement: for those wisers ( ;-> ) that have installed Cygwin on their systems, you can run the following command from a Cygwin terminal (always with elevated rights):
rm -rf /cygdrive/*/\$Recycle.Bin
…to simultaneously empty the trashcans on ALL local drives.
anthony Mtambo says
, thank you it helped me a lot and I do not know much of computers but this was really useful
Maris M says
Thanks, that was helpful. I accidentally instructed zip file to be split in chunks of 80 bytes (instead of MB), So I ended up with 52 thousand files. Moving them to recycle bin took little time, but then I wasn’t even able to open RBin’s context menu, for it took ages and nothing happened.
This command executed in less than 2 minutes.
Thanks for sharing.
Darius Flint says
Is there a way to do this for all drives on a computer? Say if there was a $Recycle.Bin folder on every drive for example. I have a similar situation.
S Ahmed says
It was a great trick. Thanks as well
Joey from Friends says
Thank you for this article. I found it helpful.
GrumpyIT, not only were you a jerk but hrichardson8 already made the same point while being far less rude.
rd /s /q %systemdrive%\$RECYCLE.BIN
For those who came here and realized this post is bullshit
rd /s /q c:\$Recycle.Bin for no confirmation message.